The Centre for International Cooperation at the University of New York, Development Finance International, Oxfam and UNAIDS have called for urgent action to save Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 10: Reduced Inequality.
They say that COVID-19 caused the largest rise in income inequality in three decades, as poorer countries lacked financing to support the incomes of the poor or to confront the COVID-19 and AIDS pandemics.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic and global inflation crisis, inequality of income, wealth and health outcomes rose sharply. Without seriously tackling inequality, we will not end AIDS by 2030 (SDG 3.3), and the SDGs on poverty, gender and education will be strongly compromised.”
In his 2023 SDG Progress Report, the United Nations Secretary-General announced that SDG10 is one of the worst performing SDGs. Action has never been more urgent on this goal.
For SDG10 to be successful in reducing inequality, he says it is vital that the international community takes concerted action during the current review of the SDGs which will culminate at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly SDG Summit taking place on 18-19 September 2023.
Action includes better monitoring the inequality of income and wealth within and between countries. This requires using indicators which are used by all member states and institutions including the UN or the World Bank, these indicators are called the Gini coefficient and the Palma ratio.
The official start to the call to action will take place during a high-level meeting on 18 July at the UN in New York, with representatives from government and civil society. H.E. the President of Namibia, Hage Gottfried Geingob, and H.E. the President of Sierra Leone Julius Maada Bio, have expressed their support and willingness to co-sponsor this call to action to Save SDG10 and fight inequality.
In addition, more than 230 leading global economists, political leaders and inequality experts, including former UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, Nobel prize laureate Joseph Stiglitz, Thomas Piketty, Jayati Ghosh, Helen Clark and Jose-Antonio Ocampo, are sending an open letter to the UN Secretary-General and the World Bank President urging them to include the incomes and wealth of the rich in monitoring inequality by using Gini and Palma, and to ensure trends in inequality are monitored annually in all countries. This will allow the world to see the true picture of growing extreme inequality, and to strengthen its efforts to promote anti-inequality policies.